The Elder Scrolls

Norieleanduril’s Journal of Alaxxon, Being an Account of the Glorious Deeds of this Soldier of the Aldmeri Dominion in the Wilds of Valenwood

4E 165 – Valenwood

Rain’s Hand 7

Battlereeve Etharilmar reminded us we should keep “an everscrivven scroll” of our meritorious deeds to honour the gods, who are our ancestors, and guide our descendants. So, I’m starting this diary again. The last time I kept a journal was in school, I didn’t write much stuff in it, but now I am progressing towards a noble calling: the enforcement of the peace and common weal in the darkest corners of mysterious Valenwood. I’ve snagged a small thesaurus from the mess room that will prove most functional in improving my prose.

As a soldier just called to the vocation of this mission, I pledge my alliegance to the glorious mission of the Altmeri Dominion. I shall strive to be a shining specimen of Alinor’s supercilious perfection before the eyes of our esteemed yet barbarious allies: the noted Bosmer of this land.

The aforesaid Bosmer are regrettably ill-educated. None of them keep journals, I suppose. They wear furs and other parts of animals more than ordinary clothes. They are very good at hunting, and their prime export from Valenwood is scouts and archers. Falinesti is the city where I am stationed. The whole city is in a big tree that used to walk a long time ago but doesn’t anymore. I would have liked to see it walking, but I guess it got stuck. It should make it easier to live here, though. Now the residents won’t have to worry about their tea cups sliding off the table every time the tree takes another step.

It really is a grandiose tree, more like a whole forest itself. I will inscribe my observations in the coming days for the next generation’s edification.


Rain’s Hand 29

Some of the Bosmer are more civilized than others. They wear ordinary clothes and eat salads. Some even serve the Thalmor meritoriously. But those aren’t the ones we have problems with. I was warned that in the deep, dark jungles of Malabal Tor live the true savages of this land who worship Daedra and eat each other.

Soon we may be called upon to quell their uprisings, but at the moment I have some time off and I have decided to immerse myself further in the local culture of the wild Bosmer around Falinesti. I’ve seen some beautiful things here, the most beautiful was a woman. In a deep green grove, in the forest near the city, I saw her dancing, one of the aforementioned wild Bosmer. She has dark brown hair that falls in waves down her back and green eyes and she is not as tall as an Altmer woman, but she is taller than the shorter Bosmer. She was not wearing leather or furs, but a deep-red crimson skirt and top, leaving bare her shoulders, belly, and lower legs. No shoes either. Her name is Firion.

We struck up a conversation about how cultural her dance was, and I proceeded to attempt to illuminate her with my knowledge of the rich tradition of Altmer music and dance. She did not have the superior attention span to properly attend to my demonstrations and she started laughing. But she is a kind young woman, even if rather wild and savage.

Firion cannot pronounce my full name. It is perhaps beyond the capabilities of the locals to produce the authentic sounds of 'Norieleanduril'. I did communicate to her that my friends mostly call me 'Noriel." She says she will just call me Nori, which is very improper, but we must tolerate our allies' attempts at civil interactions.


Second Seed 2

My leave is too soon over. I am not certain on what grounds I stand with Firion, or how proper our connection may be. I believe I am doing my duty to the Dominion in fostering friendship with the locals. But can there be more than the aforesaid friendship? I have heard stories of Altmer who settled down in Valenwood, even started families with Bosmer spouses, but I always thought that was reprehensible behaviour. If we Altmer are the perfect specimens and the Isles are the perfect place to live, a relationship with a Bosmer in Valenwood is ??? Forbidden? Or just Second-rate?

I would be punished for lying before the gods if I wrote here in this sacred journal that the only feelings I have for Firion are friendship. I know I should ask a priest or a justiciar or someone, but I’m afraid of what they will say. Anyway, now we’re deployed, I won’t see her for a long time, if ever. I’d write her a letter but I don’t know where to send it and I doubt she knows how to read. I should stop castigating myself and try to focus on our work.


Second Seed 4

Yesterday we marched up towards the coast to find some of the problematic Bosmer who allegedly ate a tax collector. I joked that this was a fine way to deal with tax collectors, our commander did not find it humourous. I suppose tax collectors have families too.

When we got to the village, it was divested of habitants. The simple Bosmer had departed because they were afraid we would punish them all, even though we intended to arrest only the alleged murderer-cannibals. An informant told us the locals are hiding in caves along the coast and are resolved to never give up the suspects to us. Our commander said we will stay here until they give up and come out of the caves. We can live in their rustic village, it is not comfortable and it is dirty and primitive but there is food and bedding.

I am not going to eat any of the meat here.


Second Seed 13

Today, I achieved an illustrious success in bringing the light of the Dominion and Auri-El to the local people. The aforesaid villagers are mostly still hiding in their caves, but a family came back today with a gaggle of small dirty children. The parents begged us to spare them. Our commander was angry that they thought we would hurt children and so he yelled at them for a while. That made the children cry pitifully so I gave them some small pieces of rock candy I had been saving for a treat. The children had never tasted sugar before, I suppose. I elaborated to them how sugar is grown from plants and so plants are actually very delicious and good for your health. Their parents didn’t look happy with my elaboration, but they are very quiet and deferential around us. We have set the family to work gathering provisions. I have planted a seed of enlightenment in the minds of these unfortunate children that may bloom in time, Mara give them her blessing.

I have decided to write Firion a letter after all. I addressed it to the tavern where we stayed since I think she goes there regularly. If she can’t read it, she can find someone to read it to her.

I wrote nothing improper in the letter, just assured her that I am in good health and hope that she is too. Also, I would like to see her again when we return to Falinesti.


Second Seed 20

The Siege of the Sea Caves is what they will call this campaign one day in the history volumes. We are making history indeed. It’s not glamorous work but where needs must, Altmer ingenuity prevails. The mages will flood the caverns and force these recalcitrant Bosmer out of their hiding spaces. Then we will arrest the culpable ringleaders of this rebellion and march them back to Falinesti to be tried for their crimes. The less complicit locals will need a lengthy indoctrination in Aldmeri virtues, that’s not our work, though we are all called to be examplars of these aforesaid virtues to the ordinary Bosmer.


Second Seed 23

Only six persons drowned! One of them was our mage who made a mistake with the water levels, may Auri-El guide his soul to Aetherius. But mostly everyone is alive, no matter how soaking. I’m afraid we ate a lot of the village’s supplies and accidentally burnt down the village head’s hut though we told them it was on purpose as a punishment for their aforesaid rebellion. Perchance that will make them think twice before they rebel again.

It was indeed depressing marching back to Falinesti with the prisoners, everyone was in a bad mood, especially the prisoners. I asked the headsman if they really ate the tax collector, he said no, but I wouldn’t believe whatever he said. That is true enough, I am not supposed to be cozened by lies, the Commander says. I felt sorry for the mer, though, he is an old man, and if he is imprisoned, he will never return to his family. I suppose, though, that he really should have considered that before he defied the Dominion’s lawful authorities.

There was a letter from Firion left at the tavern. It turns out she can write and she has very adorable handwriting. She has gone up to the Broken Coast herself for a few weeks but wants to see me again when she returns. Her letter should fill me with joy, but why is she going to the Coast? Does she have kin there? Even if she does, they’re not likely to be any of the villagers we brought back to Falinesti in chains? Are they?


Midyear 26

Firion.

Her beauty is incomparable. Her kisses are like fire that marks my very soul. This is the best, not second-best.

She doesn’t have family on the Broken Coast, thank Mara’s benevolence. I am steeling myself to meet her family one day. I must show them respect despite their inferior position. They must be good people to raise such a daughter.


Sun’s Height 2

Hopeful news from Alinor! I received a letter from my parents today, and I knew it must be important because they hardly ever write. Indeed, they have received word from the Acsendants that my grandfather will soon finish his calian and be restored to praxis. I am looking forward to finally meeting him.

I told Firion about it and she said that doesn't sound refined or superior at all. My grandfather skimmed funds from a collection for the poor before I was born. It was the first position of power he ever had in his life, I am told, and the temptations were too strong. But surely his renewal of his calian is grander than his previous life? Firion had to agree to that. She is deficient in many respects but not in true religious feeling.


Sun’s Height 17

My feelings and thoughts have been far too perturbed lately to update this journal for a while, but I have a duty to record the events of my life here for posterity. I was hoping it would be mine and Firion’s posterity, but that seems unlikely now and my heart is sick from it.

It all changed the day Firion took me to see her younger brother. His name is Maeroth. We met at a very expensive dining establishment in Falinesti. I knew it would cost an arm and a leg, but I wanted to please Firion and impress her brother. Well, nothing after that was what I expected. Firion arrived to dinner wearing a beautiful green silk dress I’d never seen before and her brother was wearing red velvet. Well, at least they’re making an effort, I thought. Maybe I could convince the folks back home to give their blessing to this relationship.

Maeroth asked me about my kinship in Summerset, I went on for way too long about our pedigree. I wasn’t really trying to boast! I just wanted to impress him so he’d realize I was a good match for his sister. I realized I’d been talking too long about myself, so I asked him about his family. Firion had never given a family name, so I presumed they had none. Maeroth said, no, it’s Camoran.

I spent the rest of the dinner wishing I could sink into the floor. Maeroth was laughing at me, Firion was laughing, in a sweet way that hurt so much more.

They’re not royalty, Firion explaijned me. There are so many Camorans in Valenwood. So, they are just minor nobility, with royal ancestors. Oh, and they’re related to some of the great kinships of Summerset as well! Oh, and Firion’s an official of the Thalmor here in Valenwood!

I deserved the humiliation. I can’t even deny it. Alaxxon is not cheap and easy. It’s a struggle for the rest of one’s life. And it’s painful. I forgot all that when I boasted to Firion and the other people of this land. Acting as if I had ascended to godhood and they were my worshipers.

I kept a brave face during the dinner, but then I went back to barracks and wept.


Sun’s Height 19

Firion has asked my forgiveness for tricking me. She says I was acting like a fool when we first met – she’s not wrong – and she thought it funny to play along that evening. She and her friends were laughing at me – that’s a bitter pill to swallow. And then, she decided to teach me a lesson.

“I’m not apologizing for all of it,” she said today. “I hope I did teach you a lesson. But I should have told you before. I took it too far.”

But I told her she can teach me all the lessons she wants.

She looks very pretty in her uniform: gold and green: the colours of the Valenwood Civil Service. She says it’s a very junior position in the Bureau of Cultural Harmony and Inculcation, but I know she will rise to the top someday. She was off to the Broken Coast to observe the state of Aldmeri praxis among the wild Bosmer we subdued. She says the villagers had good things to say about me! Also some bad things, I am trying to be honest now, but they said I had a heart, at least, unlike some.

We might have a posterity to look forward to, after all. Firon’s warned me that it’ll take a long time to win her family’s approval, but I’m ready for that. If I rise through the ranks of the Army, her Thalmor kin will have to accept me eventually. Alaxxon never was supposed to be easy, right?

Note: Firion says Alaxxon is written with one ‘x’, not two. Alaxon. I’m not sure. It looks wrong that way.

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